Cyber scams target students

13 August 2020      Andrea Marshall, Tax Specialist

Cyber scams target students

In its recent Agent Update: Issue 79, HMRC include this article.


HMRC recently warned students about a fresh wave of cyber frauds offering them bogus tax refunds.

The department would normally expect to see a small, regular flow of scam referrals from students but recently saw a sudden spike in students reporting suspected scams sent to their official university email addresses.

When new scams emerge targeting students at particular universities, we find that they often spread.

The department has therefore warned students to take a moment to think before parting with personal information.

HMRC’s Customer Protection Team has asked internet service providers to take down malicious web pages associated with the scam and has alerted universities and the National Union of Students.

UK universities have been operating remotely, online, since the COVID-19 lockdown.

HMRC’s advice to students:


• take a moment to think before parting with your information or money

• don’t give out private information or reply to text messages, and don’t download attachments or click on links in texts or emails you weren’t expecting.


• it’s ok to reject, refuse or ignore any requests – only criminals will try to rush or panic you

• search ‘scams’ on GOV.UK for information on how to recognise genuine HMRC contact and how to avoid and report scams.


• forward suspicious emails claiming to be from HMRC to and texts to 60599

• contact your bank immediately if you think you’ve fallen victim to a scam and report it to Action Fraud.

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